Tram wires power up

Overhead power lines between the Bankhead Tram Stop and York Place have been switched on meaning the whole airport to city centre route is now live.

The 750 volt dc power lines are over five metres (around 18 feet) above the tracks and do not pose a danger to pedestrians and motorists at ground level or to those living and working in the vicinity of the tramway.

The power lines, which were switched on at 3pm today (19 Nov), will not be on constantly at all points along the route at this stage but should be considered live at all times. 

Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said:

“This is another significant milestone as we push towards completion of the project and as we prepare for testing. At ground level the live wires will go unnoticed but anyone who needs to carry out works within a ten metre vicinity needs to be aware of important safety measures. We’re urging residents and businesses along the route to read the guidance and approach us to agree a safe way of working.”

Authorisation is needed for any of the following works either on or near the tramway:

• Any work where part of the site such as tools, materials, machines, suspended loads or where people could enter the Edinburgh Tram Hazard Zone. For example, window cleaning or other work involving the use of ladders.

• Any work which could force pedestrians or road traffic to be diverted into the Edinburgh Trams Hazard Zone.

• Piling, using a crane, excavating more than two metres or erecting and dismantling scaffolding within four metres of the Edinburgh Trams Hazard Zone.

• Any excavation within three metres of any pole supporting overhead lines.

• Any work on sites near the tramway where vehicles fitted with cranes, tippers or skip loaders could come within the Edinburgh Trams Hazard Zone when the equipment is in use.

The Council has issued guidance to residents and businesses along the tram route and to other key organisations who may carry require access along the line.

See our full guidance on how to get permission to work near a tram way.

The tram project remains in line with the revised budget (£776m) approved by the Council in September 2011, with work either ahead of schedule or in line with the revised timescale reported in December 2011. A passenger service is scheduled for operation in May 2014.

Full route tram testing is scheduled to begin in December 2013.

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